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Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) is a one-of-a-kind superior motor controller that propels electric motors by altering the frequency and voltage delivered to the main motor. VFD is also known as adjustable speed drive, ac drive, microdrive, variable speed drive, and inverter. The frequency of the VFD is interrelated to the motor’s speed (RPMs). Hence, if the frequency is higher, the faster the RPMs go. As per the requirements, VFD can be utilized to either ramp up or down the voltage and frequency to match up with the electric motor’s load. Several advantages of VFD include low energy cost savings, higher production, reduced maintenance, and extended equipment life. As per the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, electric motor systems are accountable for 60% of the power consumption in industries, and nearly 70 percent of industrial electricity demand. The optimization of motor control systems through VFDs can result in low energy consumption.
Moreover, the use of VFDs has immensely enhanced product quality and significantly reduced production costs. Due to its low downtime, many companies are switching to VFDs. The global variable frequency drive market is expected to reach USD 21.71 billion. VFD delivers better protection against various problems, including phase protection, overvoltage, electro thermal overloads, and under-voltage. Furthermore, industries are adopting VFDs because of their efficient speed for applications, fewer mistakes, and higher production yields. Several companies that utilize VFDs have also integrated ethernet in their industrial applications to simplify operations. According to a customer survey commissioned by Control Techniques, 75% of machine users say they are already using or investigating Ethernet in industrial applications. This recent trend is being observed in VFD introductions. For example, Gozuk, Baldor, Fort Smith introduced its new H2 series of VFDs that are connected via Ethernet Powerlink or Ethernet/IP.
An American provider of industrial automation and information technology. The company has its presence in more than 100 countries, with subsidiaries, namely, Allen-Bradley (US), FactoryTalk software (US), Automation Control Products (US), and Mestech Services (India). In January 2017, Rockwell Automation introduced the drive solution of Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755T drives. The new drive solution reduces energy costs and increases machine uptime for running assets in high-demand applications.
Headquartered in Cork, Ireland, Johnson Controls International plc is an Irish-domiciled American multinational corporation that manufactures fire, HVAC, and buildings' security equipment. The company is established in more than 150 countries, with many subsidiaries, SimplexGrinnell (US), VARTA (Germany), Ansul (US), and Tyco Integrated Security (US). In August 2019, Johnson Controls introduced Series III variable speed drives to control AC induction motors' speed used in fan and pump applications.
Headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, ABB is a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation that offers advanced technology for industries and manufacturing plants. The company has an extensive product portfolio involving electrification, industrial automation, motion, robotics, & discrete automation. For instance, in April 2019, ABB launched the ACH580 series of variable frequency drives that are designed for smart buildings. Through this, the company can expand its market presence.
A leading producer of motors and control equipment for home appliances and industrial applications headquartered in Japan. It offers motors for various applications, including washing machines, dryer machines, dishwashers, refrigerating, air conditioning equipment, pump motors for pools and spas. It also deals in a broad range of general industrial machines, industrial pumps, and vehicle drive applications. In May 2017, Nidec Motor Corporation unveiled a product line for motors, drives, power quality solutions, and automation techniques for the iron and steel industry.
A German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich. The company offers a wide range of variable frequency drives with advanced preventive maintenance methods for various industry verticals. In July 2018, Siemens launched a new drive service known as 'Extended Exchange' to help its customers protect Sinamics drives for up to seven years. The new drive service also reduces unplanned expenses by providing repair and exchange cover to streamline drives’ operations.
One of the major providers of smart energy systems and power solutions, with the presence in more than 100 countries globally. Danfoss Group operates through its 72 factories and has around 23 research & development facilities around the world. On July 31, 2019, Danfoss acquired UQM Technologies, an expert in motors and inverters with a power range of up to 250 kW.
Headquartered in Tokyo, TMEIC is a joint venture of Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric. The company specializes in industrial electric and automation systems for industrial plants. In May 2019, TMEIC launched TMdrive-Guardian, an outdoor enclosure for TMdrive-MVe2 medium voltage (MV) variable frequency drive. The new frequency drive eradicates the requirement to place the drive in an E-house or temperature-controlled industrial control building.
A subsidiary of Fuji Electric Co., Ltd based in the US. The company is responsible for the sales and distribution of its industrial products, including semiconductors, inverters, circuit breakers, ring compressors, power supply, HMIs, and power generation equipment along with AC drives and uninterruptible power systems.
Headquartered in Japan, the company is one of the biggest manufacturers of AC inverter drives, servo and motion control, and robotics automation systems. The company offers solutions to various end-user industries, including automotive, building automation, chemical/petrochemical, food and beverage, machine tool, plastics and rubber, material handling, packaging, pharmaceutical, and textile industries. In October 2019, Yaskawa America, Inc upgraded variable frequency drive design through Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 for smart manufacturing.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States, TIC is a Toshiba America Inc. (TAI) Group Company, a wholly-owned Toshiba Corporation subsidiary. The company produces numerous products for various industrial purposes. In June, 2017, Toshiba International Corporation launched AS3 low voltage adjustable speed drive units. The product extension is designed for multiple industrial installations, including chemical, mining & minerals, oil & gas, and water/wastewater, with enhanced communication capabilities to provide real-time data to the users.